From NYT today — maternity/paternity leave for adoptive parents


Reader Response to “Don’t Marry Career Women” – From NYT today — maternity/paternity leave for adoptive parents

From NYT today — maternity/paternity leave for adoptive parents
dumbbroad
Regular Contributor
dumbbroad

Breaking the Biology Barrier
By LYNETTE CLEMETSON

KATIE LEDBETTER, who is expecting a baby girl late this year, has delighted in the fawning of baby-obsessed colleagues, the cooing commentary on the joys of parenthood and the feigned laments over the loss of social life and sleep.

But because she is adopting instead of giving birth, Ms. Ledbetter, who works for Standard Register, a document services company based in Ohio, was initially told she was not entitled to the six to eight weeks of paid leave offered to pregnant employees.

Then in January, an ebullient manager told Ms. Ledbetter to check her e-mail. Effective this year, a memo to the company’s 3,500 employees read, Standard Register would offer adoptive parents four weeks of paid leave and up to $4,000 in financial assistance. Ms. Ledbetter, her manager told her, would be the first recipient. “It was like a gift from God,” said Ms. Ledbetter, 45, a customer service specialist in the company’s Charlotte, N.C., office. “When you are in this adoption mode, you just come to expect obstacles. I was so very, very touched to know my company backed us.”

With more than 100,000 Americans adopting each year, adoption benefits are becoming a hot new perk in the panoply of workplace benefits. Whether paid time off, reimbursement for costs or both, the benefits help parents defray hefty adoption fees and afford bonding time with new children. Just as important, recipients say, the assistance sends the message that adoptive families are as valued and worthy of support as biological families are.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/31/fashion/31adopt.html?_r=1&adxnnl=0&adxnnlx=1157032899-/jSAsweznBlv0TzY4Oe1qA&pagewanted=print

08-31-2006 10:13 AM

Re: From NYT today — maternity/paternity leave for adoptive parents
Democles
Regular Contributor
Democles

What does this article have to do with the current topic?

08-31-2006 10:24 AM

Re: From NYT today — maternity/paternity leave for adoptive parents
moneyneversleep
Regular Contributor
moneyneversleep

Nothing, the moron (whose screen name is so apropo) keeps posting inane bs.

08-31-2006 10:25 AM

Re: From NYT today — maternity/paternity leave for adoptive parents
dumbbroad
Regular Contributor
dumbbroad

actually, there was a lengthy discussion yesterday about maternity leave on one of the threads and i thought this was an interesting aspect of that.

08-31-2006 10:37 AM

Re: From NYT today — maternity/paternity leave for adoptive parents
Antiriad
Regular Contributor
Antiriad
Meanwhile, as these pie in the sky fantasies cost more and more money to
implement (the money HAS to come from somewhere, right?), high level
work is increasingly outsourced to third world countries like India
which have no such self-destructive laws.

These ideologues with absurdly unrealistic expectations are breaking the
economic backbone of western countries as we speak. Already, many people
are seeing a recession and even a possible depression looming on the
horizon. No matter, these people push on with their fiscally unfeasible
agendas. It would be funny to watch the stupidity of it all if we
weren’t personally affected by their economically destructive
tendencies.

If a company is forced to pay for maternity leave (i.e. a 100% loss
in productivity while still paying salaries), guess what: it looks for
other options. Already, CISCO has publicly talked about becoming a
Chinese company. This sort of thing will only escalate as greedy and
unrealistic people who think the world owes them everything simply
because they exist run our once prosperous economy into the dirt. The
inmates are quite literally in charge of the asylum at this point.

Message Edited by Antiriad on 08-31-2006 11:00 AM

08-31-2006 10:56 AM

Re: From NYT today — maternity/paternity leave for adoptive parents
dumbbroad
Regular Contributor
dumbbroad

please. the woman in the article got $4,000. that’s chump change to a company like cisco. execs spend more than that on a nice steak dinner with clients.

08-31-2006 11:04 AM

Re: From NYT today — maternity/paternity leave for adoptive parents
miscwit
Contributor
miscwit

Personally, I like the idea of companies supporting employees lifestyle choices.

I would love for my company to pay for my motorcycle.

But this raises an interesting point. What about the chilfree employees? Isn’t that $4,000 payment tantamount to an arbitrary benefit based on a lifestyle choice?

08-31-2006 11:14 AM

Re: From NYT today — maternity/paternity leave for adoptive parents
Antiriad
Regular Contributor
Antiriad

dumbbroad wrote:
please. the woman in the article got $4,000. that’s chump change to a company like cisco. execs spend more than that on a nice steak dinner with clients.

Your moniker certainly befits you.

08-31-2006 11:15 AM

Re: From NYT today — maternity/paternity leave for adoptive parents
dumbbroad
Regular Contributor
dumbbroad

so what’s the answer? no maternity leave whatsoever? women who want children should not be in the workforce?

08-31-2006 11:26 AM

Re: From NYT today — maternity/paternity leave for adoptive parents
miscwit
Contributor
miscwit

so what’s the answer? no maternity leave whatsoever? women who want children should not be in the workforce?

Not at all! Just make the benefits equitable and not based on lifestyle choice.

That $4,000 would go a long way to paying off my motorcycle.

Finance and HR already acknowledge that taking time off from work (for whatever reason) results in fewer opportunities for career growth. Now, if the people actually taking the time off acknowledge that, as well.

08-31-2006 11:32 AM

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Reader Response to “Don’t Marry Career Women” – From NYT today — maternity/paternity leave for adoptive parents

Re: From NYT today — maternity/paternity leave for adoptive parents
Antiriad
Regular Contributor
Antiriad

dumbbroad wrote:
so what’s the answer? no maternity leave whatsoever? women who want children should not be in the workforce?

The answer will manifest itself in the next 10-20 years. I am going to tell you nothing because you will arrogantly assume that I am wrong anyway.

It is no coincidence that the middle class is shrinking while the elites are increasingly distancing themselves in power and wealth and that a service level “economy” is unsustainable and leads to economic doom.

You talk about “jobs” and “maternity leave” as if God himself entitled you to these things. Soon you will learn that this is not so and was in fact never so.

Message Edited by Antiriad on 08-31-2006 11:35 AM

08-31-2006 11:35 AM

Re: From NYT today — maternity/paternity leave for adoptive parents
dumbbroad
Regular Contributor
dumbbroad

i think we disagree on the point that having a child is the same thing as buying a motorcycle.

08-31-2006 11:41 AM

Re: From NYT today — maternity/paternity leave for adoptive parents
dumbbroad
Regular Contributor
dumbbroad

“I am going to tell you nothing because you will arrogantly assume that I am wrong anyway.”

why would i be on here if not to discuss the topic. i might disagree, but i’m interested to hear your opinion.

08-31-2006 11:43 AM

Re: From NYT today — maternity/paternity leave for adoptive parents
miscwit
Contributor
miscwit

i think we disagree on the point that having a child is the same thing as buying a motorcycle.

Well, to be flippant, both a child and a motorcycle are expensive, loud, and immensely rewarding (if you ride a motorcycle, that is).

But in the sense of a lifestyle choice from an employer’s point of view, what is indeed the difference? And I ask this question very seriously because there are enormous numbers of childfree by choice employees who are not receiving commensurate employee benefits.

08-31-2006 11:47 AM

Re: From NYT today — maternity/paternity leave for adoptive parents
dumbbroad
Regular Contributor
dumbbroad

“But in the sense of a lifestyle choice from an employer’s point of view, what is indeed the difference?”

But what about health insurance for dependents? Many companies allow workers to put their husbands and wives (and kids) on the company health insurance plans. If I decide not to get married, should they give me the amount of money they’re spending on health insurance for my co-worker’s husband or wife? I don’t think so. I guess I put maternity (or paternity) leave and having children in the same category.

08-31-2006 12:00 PM

Re: From NYT today — maternity/paternity leave for adoptive parents
miscwit
Contributor
miscwit

But what about health insurance for dependents? Many companies allow workers to put their husbands and wives (and kids) on the company health insurance plans. If I decide not to get married, should they give me the amount of money they’re spending on health insurance for my co-worker’s husband or wife? I don’t think so. I guess I put maternity (or paternity) leave and having children in the same category.

Yes, those are valid questions. To maintain fairness and equality in the workplace, these are precisely the types of questions which need to be asked. Why indeed should your salary and benefits subsidize the lifestyle choices of your colleagues? By making lifestyle choices that are not as burdensome to your employer, should you not get an extra reward?

I propose no easy answers, I can only ask questions. Of course, the selfish side of me wants another motorcycle and if I can find a way for someone else to pay for it, I will certainly try.

08-31-2006 12:10 PM

Re: From NYT today — maternity/paternity leave for adoptive parents
Antiriad
Regular Contributor
Antiriad

dumbbroad wrote:
“I am going to tell you nothing because you will arrogantly assume that I am wrong anyway.”

why would i be on here if not to discuss the topic. i might disagree, but i’m interested to hear your opinion.

Western countries have had a very high standard of living for decades now and it has made people complacent and intellectually lazy. It made them forget the fact that life is inherently about competition – about survival of the fittest.

The whole world cannot entertain the same high standard of living as we currently do. That means, in order for their lifestyle to improve, ours must worsen.

Previously, our lifestyle was supported by our efficiency and productivity – both at work and at home. Separation of duties leads to specialization and therefore to increased efficiency; it is why we as a civilization moved from agricultural societies where people were each responsible for their own existence to an industrialized society where people specialize in fields and use money to exchange their expertise for goods or services. And, like it or not, this also entails a separation of duties in the family. This is why the traditional family came about – because it increased efficiency and allowed people to perform their work more optimally.

Feminism is nothing short of the destruction of this efficiency that gave us a lead in the world. Where previously people specialized in their functions – the husband on earning money while working outside of the home and the wife on sustaining the home itself – today “progressive values” have forced people to become more generalized in their skill set. But generalization obviously and inevitably leads to worse performance. You cannot excel at both being a master mechanic and a nurse the way you could if you specialized in only one field.

So due to feminism, western society has given up one of its biggest advantages – the specialization and optimization of its effective skill set.

For the longest time we did not feel the consequences of this. The west spent centuries amassing a great amount of wealth (some due to imperialism, no doubt – but much of it also due to innovation and efficiency which came as a consequence of specialization).

When a person has $100 million in their bank account, they can make the worst investment decisions and hemorrhage money left and right, while still maintaining a high standard of living and outwardly appearing as if they were successful. This is the situation today in the west. A once wealthy society is squandering its wealth and resources while rejecting optimality and rejecting precisely those values which led to our ascent in the first place. It does so because people are used to having food on the table and a roof over their head. They have lived under these conditions for so long that they forgot what it means to truly compete for that morsel of bread in the street with stray dogs. It has been a very long time since anyone spent their days trying to sell pencils on the street corner, desperate to make that pitance so their family won’t starve for the day.

But this cannot continue endlessly. Frankly, there will soon come a point where the money runs out. And that precise point will serve as a stark reminder to many people about what reality really entails.

You want to get a taste of what it is really like? Then read this:

Thoughts on Urban Survival (Post-Collapse Life in Argentina)

Message Edited by Antiriad on 08-31-2006 12:26 PM

08-31-2006 12:13 PM

Re: From NYT today — maternity/paternity leave for adoptive parents
Democles
Regular Contributor
Democles

Antiriad, thanks for the links! I had been looking for something like that for a good while.

08-31-2006 01:04 PM

Re: From NYT today — maternity/paternity leave for adoptive parents
dumbbroad
Regular Contributor
dumbbroad

Ok, but technological improvements over the past 30 years have helped the U.S. maintain its dominance in world markets – and women were in the workforce during those 30 years. Other countries like China, India and Japan are hot on our heels, but I attribute that more to the increasingly global marketplace than women in the workforce. I don’t think the feminist movement has given China, India or Japan a leg up on the competition. If women were in provider roles only, Bill Gates would’ve still created Microsoft, companies would still look for cheaper sources of labor, media companies would still be gobbling up smaller ones – because it’s human nature, not female or male nature. And if you’re an advocate of survival of the fittest, why is this bothersome? Shouldn’t we all – men and women – be able to battle it out and see who comes out on top? Doesn’t competition from other countries help us avoid becoming complacent and intellectually lazy? If not, perhaps we’re not the best after all?

08-31-2006 01:11 PM

Re: From NYT today — maternity/paternity leave for adoptive parents
dumbbroad
Regular Contributor
dumbbroad

“Of course, the selfish side of me wants another motorcycle and if I can find a way for someone else to pay for it, I will certainly try. ”

Yeah, if my company wants to buy me a condo and a few international plane tickets, I wouldn’t put up a fight!

08-31-2006 01:12 PM

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Reader Response to “Don’t Marry Career Women” – From NYT today — maternity/paternity leave for adoptive parents

Re: From NYT today — maternity/paternity leave for adoptive parents
juliandroms
Regular Contributor
juliandroms

I think that people who have children should pay for the expenses. Period. The world and this **bleep**ing country are overpopulated. Get over it.

ON ANOTHER LAWSUIT

There was two years ago a related lawsuit that was NOT covered by the NY Times.

It was a lawsuit by a heterosexual couple, both employees of a large public University, where they were suing the University for paternity leave on the basis that the guy should be entitled to the same leave as the female. The University refused their request.

It turns out, the University had a policy of recognizing same-sex domestic partnerships so same sex partners of employees could recieve benefits (often these are policies held by Universities that are independent of any recognition of said partnerships by state agencies).

So the couple looked into the University rules for parental leave for same-sex domestic partners when these partners adopt or have their own biological children. It turns out, that when a lesbian woman in a domestic paertnership had a child, or when a heterosexual couple adopted, or when a gay male couple adopted, BOTH partners were eligible for the full 6 months or so of parental leave according to University policy. When one partner in a gay male domestic partnership had a biological child with a woman, neither of them were eligible for full parental leave.

So in effect, the only class of parents *not* eligible for a full 6 months of parental leave were biological fathers.

For the news article, they had a representative of this very progressive University comment, and she said that this poicy was justified and will hold up in court.

I never saw a follow-up article on how this lawsuit was resolved.

A SITUATION

Anyhow, this is all a bunch of crap. Until recently, I worked at a liberal University that also recognized same-sex domestic partnerships. As it turns out, I have a very good male friend (yes I am male) who happened to be without a job, and I put him up at my place for about 6 months because I am a good pal.

Not long afterwards, it occurred to me, I should have been able to get the poor guy benefits from my University if we had only declared ourselves a domestic partnership. Of course, we are only platonic friends, but why the hell should that make a difference. So I called the buffoons at this liberal University, and told them about the situation (positing that it was still ongoing). They told me, that no, despite the fact that the guys is living under my roof, he’s not entitled for benefits.

Can you believe the f*cking gall of these f*cuking sh*theads? They will whine on & on about civil rights, equality, and how people have a right to this and a right to that, and a right to engage in sexual lives as they see fit, a right to define their family relationships as they see fit, then they will suddenly turn around and me my pal is not eligible for health insurance because I don’t suck his c*ck and he doesn’t suck mine.

Moreover, if I am heterosexual and have a long-term girlfriend or domestic parter who lives with me but we are not married (because what sane guy would ever get married these days) is she eligible for benefits as a domestic partner? According to the clucking moralizing *sswipes at the liberal university, no. If we have children together and live together but I refuse to ever marry her is she eligible for benefits according to the liberal *sswipes at the University. No.

Women and their associated ilk need to get their heads out of their asses and realize THAT IT IS NOONE’S RESPONSIBILITY TO SUPPORT YOUR SORRY ASS IF YOU CAN’T SUPPORT YOURSELF.

Companies should just dump partner benefits altogether, at least in the sense that employees should be required to pay for their partner’s and dependents’s benefits out of their own pockets. Ditto for child care.All parental leave should be unpaid.

F*cking j*rks. They steal a chunk of your salary from you by emotionally blackmailing your employer, then do they even send you, an employee without children or a spouse a thankyou note afterwards?

No. Scr*w you. Get lost. Take care of your own goddamn sh*t.

I don’t take advice on morality from evangelical christians,;but sorry, I don’t take if from single moms, homosexuals, adoptive parents, or feminists either. F*ck you.

Message Edited by juliandroms on 08-31-2006 01:44 PM

08-31-2006 01:13 PM

Re: From NYT today — maternity/paternity leave for adoptive parents
Antiriad
Regular Contributor
Antiriad
Ok, but technological improvements over the past 30 years have helped the U.S. maintain its dominance in world markets – and women were in the workforce during those 30 years.

In reality, the US has been gradually losing its lead in those 30 years due, among various things, to funding such black hole programs as “women in science/engineering.” Today China is graduating 10x more engineers than the US, while we spend more time alienating men in academia while trying to attract reluctant women into engineering by “making math woman-friendly.” If that isn’t absurd then I don’t know what is.

Other countries like China, India and Japan are hot on our heels, but I attribute that more to the increasingly global marketplace than women in the workforce. I don’t think the feminist movement has given China, India or Japan a leg up on the competition.

In reality, what matters is cost/performance. Work overseas is not free either and there is a cost associated with outsourcing it. The question is, how much money is being saved? Well if you have a bunch of entitlement programs here (maternity leave – which only represents a cost to a company and no revenue) because women have entered the workforce and are hired in greater numbers than men thanks to EOE/AA and feminized academia which leaves men behind, then it becomes obvious that the cost to do business here has gone up quite dramatically relative to countries like China or India and has made outsourcing that much more lucrative. Money talks, goodwill walks – all feminist pie in the sky principles and communist ideals notwithstanding.

If women were in provider roles only, Bill Gates would’ve still created Microsoft, companies would still look for cheaper sources of labor, media companies would still be gobbling up smaller ones – because it’s human nature, not female or male nature.

See my point above. Furthermore, boys today are medicated into submission and are made to feel inadequate in school and society (“Boys Are Stupid – Throw Rocks At them,” etc.). Their actual suicide rate is 4-6x that of women/girls. Let me remind you: Bill Gates (Microsoft) is a man. Steve Jobs (founder of Apple) is a man. Sergey Brin and Larry Page (founders of Google) are men. Tim Berners-Lee (creator of the web) is a man. And so forth. Like it or not – but heavily feminized western society is today in the clearest sense squandering its most productive, creative, and gifted resource. And THAT is why previously third world countries are moving ahead – because men in this country are being held back in the interest of “fairness and equality.”

And if you’re an advocate of survival of the fittest, why is this bothersome? Shouldn’t we all – men and women – be able to battle it out and see who comes out on top? Doesn’t competition from other countries help us avoid becoming complacent and intellectually lazy? If not, perhaps we’re not the best after all?

That’s a nice dream. But as we live in a feminized big sister police state where women are by government fiat given a lot of privileges and advantages over men and double standards regarding the sexes abound in astounding numbers (with women always coming out on top, feminist whining to the contrary) I would say that your presumption of “fair competition” is naive at best. Today we don’t have survival of the fittest, we have – in the most literal sense – a situation akin to dogs walking people.

Message Edited by Antiriad on 08-31-2006 02:09 PM

08-31-2006 01:48 PM

Re: From NYT today — maternity/paternity leave for adoptive parents
dumbbroad
Regular Contributor
dumbbroad

“In reality, the US has been gradually losing its lead in those 30 years due, among various things, to funding such black hole programs as “women in science/engineering.” Today China is graduating 10x more engineers than the US, while we spend more time alienating men in academia while trying to attract reluctant women into engineering by “making math woman-friendly.” If that isn’t absurd then I don’t know what is.”

But in terms of stats, China has just as many female engineering students as the U.S. does. “Female enrollment in [Chinese] engineering programs mirrors the American average at about 20 percent” – and that’s without additional recruitment programs. Perhaps the problem is with the curriculum in U.S. schools or attitudes of American students as a whole – not gender.

And I don’t see how marketing math careers to women would alienate a man with an interest in the subject. How is that different than sponsoring kids from the inner city with internships at business establishments they might never have encountered otherwise? It’s just smart business to explore untapped resources.

“entitlement programs here (maternity leave – which only represents a cost to a company and no revenue) … has made outsourcing that much more lucrative”

But companies are not going overseas purely because maternity leave has threatened to put them out of business. I agree that money talks in the business world, but they go overseas because workers (male and female) are willing to do the same job for less money. A Dell customer service rep in Bangalore will be able to make ends meet on much less money than a Dell customer service rep living in Austin, TX.

“Furthermore, boys today are medicated into submission and are made to feel inadequate in school and society (“Boys Are Stupid – Throw Rocks At them,” etc.).”

I just don’t agree that men are being held back by a “feminized” society. If a girl had worn a “boys are stupid; throw rocks at them” t-shirt when Bill Gates was in fifth grade, do you think that would’ve deterred him from fiddling with computers? No, because he’s a smart guy. He actually was bullied when he was a kid – and many successful people were. It just made them stronger.

“I would say that your presumption of “fair competition” is naive at best.”

I guess we’ll find out. May the best person win!

08-31-2006 02:32 PM

Re: From NYT today — maternity/paternity leave for adoptive parents
Antiriad
Regular Contributor
Antiriad
But in terms of stats, China has just as many female engineering students as the U.S. does. “Female enrollment in [Chinese] engineering programs mirrors the American average at about 20 percent” – and that’s without additional recruitment programs. Perhaps the problem is with the curriculum in U.S. schools or attitudes of American students as a whole – not gender.

Math is math and engineering is engineering. It is a waste of time, money, and resources to sugarcoat it for any particular group. If women have no natural predilection for the subject then why force the issue? How can you claim that you are “neglecting people who would otherwise be useful contributors” if you have to expend that much effort in even getting those people interested in the first place? Do you honestly believe that, in the history of science, engineering, and academia as a whole, any of the subjects were ever sugarcoated for men?

And I don’t see how marketing math careers to women would alienate a man with an interest in the subject. How is that different than sponsoring kids from the inner city with internships at business establishments they might never have encountered otherwise? It’s just smart business to explore untapped resources.

First, it’s a waste of limited capital to try to attract those who are inherently less interested in something. It isn’t as if the totality of male intellectual capital has been tapped at this point. If that were the case, then why has the number of men going to college only increased marginally in the last few decades? Clearly there is favoritism going on.

As for sponsoring kids from the inner city – again that is what a society does which thinks it is economically untouchable and beyond the threat of falling back to subsistence levels. And while there is generally nothing wrong with sponsoring kids from the inner city, it does become a problem when it is turned into a governmental institution that sucks away more and more resources on increasingly fruitless programs. Everybody claims that public education is failing and that it could surely be fixed if only MORE money was spent on it. Well it may come as news then that this country is spending more on public education (per child, as a percentage of GDP) than almost every other country in the world.

But companies are not going overseas purely because maternity leave has threatened to put them out of business. I agree that money talks in the business world, but they go overseas because workers (male and female) are willing to do the same job for less money. A Dell customer service rep in Bangalore will be able to make ends meet on much less money than a Dell customer service rep living in Austin, TX.

You did not listen to what I said. Outsourcing work to third world countries also entails cost, just as much as employing people here does. The question is, what is the difference in cost? It goes without saying that entitlement programs only increase this difference in cost and make outsourcing more attractive.

If it costs $10/hour to employ someone here and $3/hour to employ the same person in Bangladesh, but it also costs $5/hour (in total effort expended) to move the job itself there, then what is saved is $2/hour. But if people here demand entitlement programs – which in real terms bring up their salary to $15/hour here (because when you are not at work but still getting paid the same amount, your effective hourly rate has just gone up) – then the difference is now $7. As you can clearly see, entitlement programs hurt competitiveness. We cost more overall not just because of higher salaries but also because of other benefits. If we wish to compete with third world countries then some of these benefits, as well as some of our salaries are going to have to go. This is not fear mongering but the reality we face today:

According to a memo released by the UAW, Delphi executives are demanding as much as a 63 percent wage cut for production workers, from $26.35 an hour to as low as $10.00 an hour. Skilled workers’ wages would fall from $30.77 an hour to $19.00. The company is also demanding the elimination of all future cost-of-living allowances.

Delphi wants to eliminate up to five paid holidays and two weeks of vacation a year, force workers to pay 27 percent of their health-care costs versus 7 percent currently, and cut pensions to less than $1,500 per month from $3,000 at present.

The takeaways would result in a wage and benefits package of $16 to $18 an hour, instead of an estimated $65 per hour. This could result in a minimum yearly income of $20,000 before taxes, a scale that would leave many UAW members unable to afford the vehicles they helped build.

Now, where in this picture does your maternity leave entitlement program fit in? Answer: it does not.

Message Edited by Antiriad on 08-31-2006 03:20 PM

08-31-2006 03:05 PM

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